Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New showflats pull in crowds

Condo-style flats popular; private homes see encouraging sales

THOUSANDS of people flocked to check out some of the new housing developments on sale over the weekend, scenes more reminiscent of a boom, not a recession.

As one industry watcher told The Straits Times: 'The mass market is still moving. If you price it correctly and reasonably, people will still buy.'

The hottest ticket in town was clearly the Parc Lumiere project, which drew an astonishing 6,500 visitors over the weekend.

Buyers had begun queueing last Friday before its viewing period started on Saturday, with 829 people eventually in the line for flats in the estate, which is being developed under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS).

There was no balloting for the project: Just turn up and book.

Developer Sim Lian Group said it has already sold 306 units out of a total of 360. All the four-room flats, priced between $378,000 and $425,000, have been sold.

Only the low-floor five-room flats are left. The five-roomers are priced from $462,000 to $575,000.
'After going through Premiere
@ Tampines, we thought we would try another way of selling. When you do it by ballot, a lot of people just try for fun. A lot who were keen didn't get the chance to book,' said Sim Lian executive director Diana Kuik.

But some potential buyers felt the walk-in selection sale method, essentially a first-come, first-served sale, was inconvenient. One said the sale came at too short a notice for him to take leave to queue. A parent said her son had been waiting for the project but was travelling in Europe.

Sim Lian said it has had feedback from happy buyers, including a pair of siblings happy to get a unit next to each other.

The second DBSS project, The Peak @ Toa Payoh, also had a busy weekend with 1,711 applications lodged as of 6pm yesterday for the 1,203 units.

This project by developer Hoi Hup Sunway is being sold by ballot, with applications open until next Tuesday.

About 22,500 people had visited the showflat from last Wednesday until it closed yesterday, said Ms Kellie Liew, executive director of projects at HSR Property Group, the marketing agent for The Peak. More than half of the applicants are interested in the five-room flats, with about 30 per cent looking at the four-roomers, she said.

In the private home market, the freehold The Arte in Jalan Datoh attracted about 1,000 people over the weekend, said developer City Developments (CDL).

The average price at the 336-unit project - which boasts relatively large flats - is $880 psf, with most units going for under $2 million each.

CDL said it sold another 20 units over the weekend for $30 million, bringing total sales to 170.
'The sales volume indicates that buyers have greater confidence in the property market and in the future of their investment,' said CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong.

'This reinforces CDL's view that the current market is now attracting savvy but cautious investors.'
A large number of buyers have private home addresses, he said, with many saying they want to invest in another property or to move into a 'new and upscale residence'. CDL said it has extended the interest absorption scheme to these buyers.

Two other large projects that were launched last month also saw encouraging sales.

A further 22 apartments were sold at the 457-unit Mi Casa condominium in Choa Chu Kang in the past week, bringing total sales to 202 units. Prices hovered around $635 psf.

More than half of the 646 units at Double Bay Residences in Simei have been sold. This was the best-selling project last month, with 264 units being bought.

About 60 per cent of the 68-unit Verdure in Holland Roadhas also been sold since its preview more than a week ago.

Source: Straits Times, 21 April 2009

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